Category Archives: Mental disorders

Ataxia

Ataxia describes a lack of muscle coordination during voluntary movements, such as walking or picking up objects. A sign of an underlying condition, ataxia can affect your movements, your speech, your eye movements and your ability to swallow. Persistent ataxia usually results from damage to your cerebellum — the part of your brain that controls muscle coordination. Many conditions may cause ataxia, including alcohol abuse, stroke, tumor, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis. It’s also possible to inherit a defective gene that may cause one of many ataxia variants.

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Primary progressive aphasia

Primary progressive aphasia is a rare neurological syndrome that impairs language capabilities. People with primary progressive aphasia may have trouble naming objects or may misuse word endings, verb tenses, conjunctions and pronouns. People with primary progressive aphasia can become mute and may eventually lose the ability to understand written or spoken language. Primary progressive aphasia is a type of frontotemporal dementia, a cluster of related disorders that all originate in the frontal or temporal lobes of the brain.

Primary progressive aphasia specifically targets the language center of the brain — located in the brain’s left hemisphere. Brain scans typically show a marked shrinkage of the brain’s language center in people who have primary progressive aphasia. Brain activity also can be diminished.

Symptoms of primary progressive aphasia begin gradually, usually before the age of 65, and tend to worsen over time. Symptoms may vary by individual, depending on which portion of the brain’s language center has been damaged. Symptoms may include:

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About Depression

Depression isn’t a weakness, nor is it something that you can simply “snap out of.” Depression, formally called major depression, major depressive disorder or clinical depression, is a medical illness that involves the mind and body. It affects how you think and behave and can cause a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may not be able to go about your usual daily activities, and depression may make you feel as if life just isn’t worth living anymore.

Effective diagnosis and treatment can help reduce even severe depression symptoms. And with effective treatment, most people with depression feel better, often within weeks, and can return to the daily activities they previously enjoyed.

Signs and symptoms of depression

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Loss of interest in normal daily activities
  • Feeling sad or down
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Crying spells for no apparent reason
  • Problems sleeping
  • Trouble focusing or concentrating
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Unintentional weight gain or loss
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Being easily annoyed
  • Feeling fatigued or weak
  • Feeling worthless
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Thoughts of suicide or suicidal behavior
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

Depression symptoms can vary greatly because different people experience depression in different ways. A 25-year-old man with depression may not have the same symptoms as a 70-year-old man, for instance. For some people, depression symptoms are so severe that it’s obvious something isn’t right. Others may feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why.

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